The federal government spends well over $1 trillion per year on defense/military, including $200 billion on the Afghan war. That is 60 percent of all federal government spending.

I am asking for one hour of this expenditure to be returned to our region. Then the federal government can go back to killing people or figuring out ways to kill people in the future.

The $132 million we would get would allow our region to avoid police, fire and teacher layoffs, would allow blighted properties to be torn down, could spur small-business development, could fix bridges and roads and build new highways.

Budget shortfalls in state government, causing painful cutbacks in necessary services, could be avoided as well.

Come to think of it, how about two hours of military spending to be spent in the region on people’s welfare, instead of on warfare?

I fail to see how the massive military presence in places such as Alaska, North Carolina and many foreign lands adds to our national security.

I suggest that we cut military spending by 10 percent per year for the next five years.

Richard J. Holsinger


Time president stopped lecturing white America

President Obama says we need a conversation about race in America.

It needs to be a two-way conversation.

White America needs to be heard from, not lectured to, and have its grievances heard.

No one anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans.

Untold trillions have been spent on welfare, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, earned income tax credits and programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream.

Governments, businesses and colleges have engaged in discrimination against white folks – with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas – to advance black applicants over white applicants.

Churches, foundations, schools and individuals all over America donate their time and money to support the black community.

We hear the grievances. Where is the gratitude?

Is white America really responsible for the fact that the crime rates for African-Americans are seven times those of white America? Is it really white America’s fault that the dropout rate has reached 50 percent? Or for a failure of the black community itself?

As for racism, is Obama aware that while white criminals choose black victims 3 percent of the time, black criminals choose white victims 45 percent of the time?

We have all heard ad nauseam from the Rev. Al Sharpton and his racist hoaxes.

Of the epidemic of black assaults on whites that are real, we hear nothing.

Mr. Obama, we’ve heard it all – 40 years and 40 trillion tax dollars ago.

Rosalie Dill


Cycle noise minor; address real issues

In response to Andy Ford’s comments (April 21, “Join the fight to muffle loud bikes”) .

Seriously, can’t he find more important issues to dedicate his time and energy to?

The occasional passing of a motorcycle, or one idling at a stoplight, no matter how loud its “pipes,” seem like an ant standing next to the elephant-sized problems we are dealing with in our current society – drugs, violence, loss of jobs.

Even the issue of weekends of motorcycle runs should not be argued because of the money they generate for our community and other worthwhile causes.

I say, let them enjoy their ride.

Patricia Waltimire


Old Conemaugh Boro sewer project lingers

Last year, new sewers were put in at the rear of Joseph Avenue. The street was all dug up, as well as were yards. They were to be fixed in the spring, but haven’t been.

Have you ever tried to mow grass over or around ditches? Maybe the residents will fill the holes with our city taxes.

Lois Block


School conditions not conducive to education

From a physical standpoint, Conemaugh Valley is the worst high school in the Johnstown area. In addition to dwindling class sizes, the staff has become consistently less willing to assist students with matters both personal and professional – but I digress.

In a previously parched economy, it is clear that the school board has cut costs on a majority of the help, and the grassroots education of intellectual students is suffering dramatically.

When one walks through the oxidized front doors, one will hear squeaky hinges, notice burned-out lights, teachers walking about the halls freely, hornet nests in numerous classrooms, broken heaters (the air conditioners are windows), nauseating restrooms, tobacco use, inadequate study and sports facilities, computers that pre-date most history textbooks, broken chairs in every classroom, graffiti, outdated tube televisions that do not work, and foul language by staff and students alike. 

I truly wish to be the bearer of bad news because my education is suffering dramatically, and so is the education and learning experiences of others.

Unfortunately, some students care so little that even when nice things are provided, these fine young adults abuse them, too.

Matthew Sumrada

Senior, Conemaugh Valley High School


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